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Christopher Harper

Christopher Harper

Christopher Harper is a professor of journalism at Temple University. He worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and "20/20" for more than 20 years. He can be contacted at

Articles by Christopher Harper

** FILE ** George Zimmerman smiles as attorney Mark O'Mara questions potential jurors for Zimmerman's trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla., on June 20, 2013. (Associated Press/Orlando Sentinel)

HARPER: As case collapses, media play race card against Zimmerman

Despite a prosecution case in tatters against George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year-old, the media have not been shy about playing the race card throughout the trial. Published July 10, 2013

** FILE ** George Zimmerman smiles as attorney Mark O'Mara questions potential jurors for Zimmerman's trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla., on June 20, 2013. (Associated Press/Orlando Sentinel)

HARPER: Media misreporting rampant in Trayvon Martin case

A combination of pressure through social media and poor journalism led to the trial of George Zimmerman, who is accused of second-degree murder in last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Published June 26, 2013

** FILE ** This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels preparing to fire locally made rockets, in Idlib province, northern Syria, Tuesday, June 4, 2013. (Associated Press)

HARPER: Media overlook key player in Middle East crisis

As the U.S. media have focused on the Syrian civil war and Iran's elections, news organizations have failed to concentrate on what I consider a key player in the equation: Hezbollah, the Shiite militia. Published June 19, 2013

Christopher Harper

HARPER: Monument honors journalists

The beaches at Normandy remain a place to contemplate, to remember and to cry — a place where 69 years ago Thursday the Allies launched the invasion that ultimately brought victory in World War II. Published June 5, 2013

Christopher Harper

HARPER: Outlets slow to connect dots from IRS to 'Obamacare'

The Internal Revenue Service, the federal agency almost everyone loves to hate, and the scandal surrounding it may have some significant traction, particularly because the IRS will be deeply involved in overseeing a major part of the Affordable Care Act, known unofficially as "Obamacare." A few news organizations have connected the dots, but not many. Published May 29, 2013

Christopher Harper

HARPER: Network 'Bigfoots' stomp on local coverage

The tornado in Oklahoma provides a classic example of how national television network news operates, depending on local reporters and camera operators until the big guns arrive to take over. Published May 22, 2013

Christopher Harper

HARPER: Drone of contention: Journalists weigh use of aerial devices

The Boston Police Department wants to deploy drones during next year's running of the city's marathon to have "eyes in the sky." But what about journalists using drones? I will admit I am skeptical about reporters using a drone — technically known as an unmanned aerial vehicle. Published May 1, 2013

Christopher Harper

HARPER: Correspondents' dinner comforts the comfortable

Despite persistent criticism, the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. The event underscores what's wrong with much of Washington journalism. The reporters cozy up to politicians, and both groups want to be part of the Hollywood set. Published April 24, 2013

Christopher Harper

HARPER: Study tracks news media’s challenges

Digital tablets and smartphones provide about the only good news for the media in the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism's "State of the Media: 2013," which was released this week. The growth in the news audience in 2012 came on digital platforms, and the proliferation of digital devices in people's lives seemed to be a significant reason. Published March 20, 2013

HARPER: New York Times’ defense of leaks a misguided effort

It may not have been her intention, but the public editor of The New York Times transported me back to those heady days of my youth, when I attended anti-war rallies and protested against the Nixon administration. Margaret Sullivan was too young to experience those days, but she apparently wants to live them vicariously. Published March 13, 2013